Government fish kill report confirms Greens’ warnings to protect Cockburn Sound from polluting marina

A Government report has shown that an algal bloom that killed more than 2,000 fish in Cockburn Sound in November started in Mangles Bay, in the Sound’s south, and spread outwards, confirming Greens’ warnings that a polluting canal estate proposed for Mangles Bay will greatly worsen future conditions for fish across the whole Sound.

“The Department of Fisheries report shows that there were very high numbers of the algae in Mangles Bay during the fish kill and it also warns that Mangles Bay also suffers from low levels of dissolved oxygen which was also a factor in the fish kill,” Greens Member for South Metropolitan Lynn MacLaren MLC said.

“This further increases the Greens’ concerns that the Barnett Government, through LandCorp, is proposing to build an inland marina, in effect a canal estate, at Mangles Bay – a development which the Environmental Protection Authority has warned will further reduce water quality in the Sound Bay and increase the chances of algal blooms.

“It is high time that the Barnett Government started joining the dots.

“Does it want to reduce water quality in the Sound and increase the chance of fish kills by building a polluting private canal estate or does it want to ensure that the Sound, and in particular Mangles Bay, which is home to a key fish nursery and some of the Sound’s healthiest seagrass, continues to thrive in the future?

“There is a more appropriate spot for a marina at Wanliss Street, closer to Rockingham, which the Government has been ignoring, presumably because the Mangles Bay site offers it the opportunity for the Government to sell off public bushland for private canal-side housing lots.

“Of all the competing pressures for future development in Cockburn Sound, the Mangles Bay marina makes the least sense environmentally, economically and politically; the issues is highly controversial in Rockingham and the Government is yet to provide a business case for it.

“The Greens call on the Government to do an about-face on this proposal, else be held responsible for the future demise of fish in Cockburn Sound.”